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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right gang, let's go ahead and automatically blend these various photographs here. They are all found inside the Video awards sub-folder, inside the 28_auto_align folder and I'm looking at the images in the Bridge. I'm going to press Ctrl+A or Command+A on a Mac to select all six photographs of the seven awards and one palm tree and then I'm going out to the tools menu and choose Photoshop and choose once again Load Files into Photoshop Layers and then you'll just have to let Photoshop do its thing, it's got to build the layered file as you can see. It goes pretty quickly though. A lot quicker than doing it yourself, that's for sure.
And now we have the Hermes focused photographs here on top. That's Seven awards1 and then the palm tree focused photograph down at the bottom. That's Seven award6. Now what do we do? Well, even tough these photographs were captured with a tripod, there is a fair amount of slight wavering going on from one image to the next. And to see that I'm going to go ahead and Alt-click or Option-click in the eyeball for Seven awards1, which is also selected, and then I'll press Alt+Left Bracket or Option+Left Bracket to move down the stack and you could see, already there, we are actually magnifying the scene just ever so slightly, and then we are going in a little more and then we are tilting a little and that one actually looks remarkably like the previous one, and then we are going in even a little farther.
So there is a little bit of variation, but this is a kind of variation that the Auto Align command can handle. It slight for one thing, but also there is no differences in perspective. So I'm going to go ahead and Alt-click on the eyeball Option-click in the remaining eyeball to show all of the layers. Then I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+A or Command+Option+A to select all of the layers and let's go up to the Edit menu and we'll start with Auto Align Layers and it will come up and say blah, blah, blah. And we'd just say OK, as long as Auto is turned on. Then we say OK and then you wait for-- it's going to take a few moments of course to go through these various images.
Something I'll say while the progress bar is up on screen here is that I'm providing you with fairly low- resolution images. These are all 6 megapixel images, because they downsampled them from the original 12 megapixel images. Had we worked from the original 12, the progress bar would have been there much, much longer. So that's something to consider when you are working with these functions. Also, very common to get out of memory errors, especially during this next operation and what we are going to do is go to the Edit menu and choose Auto Blend Layers and what you want is stack images, because you are stacked on top of each other, this is not a panorama, and I'm going to recommend that you turn Seamless Tones and Colors off.
Now if you turn that checkbox on, then Photoshop is going to try to color correct each one of these images so that they match. But it only color corrects the portions of the photographs inside of the masked regions, it leaves the other portions of each one of the photos uncorrected, which makes for a big editing mess and because all these images already match each other in terms of color, at least they match each other well enough, I'm going to turn that checkbox off. It's still going to go ahead and mask every single one of the layers. So that's a good thing. So Stack Images on, Seamless Tones and Colors off, click OK. Now again we get a big progress bar, again if we have larger images, we would have even more computational intensity facing us here, but here is what I want to tell you. It's very common to get out of memory errors during these sorts of operations, especially if you heap on more images, or you've got bigger images or something along those lines, the Photomerge command will result in out of memory error.
If you get an out of memory error, what I recommend you do is quit the software, restart it and try again. Worst case scenario, restart your computer and try again. That usually solves a problem. Notice this is before, Ctrl+C, Command +C on a Mac, Hermes is in focus, but everything else is out of focus to some extent or other and this is after pressing Ctrl+C again. Oh, my gosh! Everything in this scene is in impeccable focus. It's just amazing. Now I'm going to zoom in here and you can see now, even that like the Hermes Creative Award was for the Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Image series and the Ava Award was for Photoshop CS3 Channels and Masks and then this one was for Channels and Masks, the DV award and then Telly award was for Photoshop CS3 Sharpening.
Do you see a pattern emerging? Those two series you really are ought to be looking at inside of the lynda.com Online Training Library, if you want to look at award winning stuff. That said, there are some problems. For example, this rough edge right there, that's terrible and it's gone and revealed a soft portion of one or the other photographs, and that actually happened on this very top layer. So I'm going to select the top layer right there. And something I want you to see about Auto Blend is it makes these very jagged mask patterns and so wherever you seeing these pixel blocks emerge on one layer, they are turned off on other layers. So these things meet each other on a pixel by pixel basis.
It's pretty amazing. But as long as you don't go correcting the colors, as long as you leave that one checkbox off that we saw a moment ago and say the Auto Blend dialog box, then what you can do is you can come in with the Brush tool and I want my foreground color to be set to White. It is. And I've got the layer mask selected for Seven awards1 and I'll paint this corner of this table back in. You may see other things like some word sort of artifacts around the highlights at the base here that you can correct if you ever mind to. I think these are actually fairly subtle problems when you move out from the image, but this needs to be dealt with. You have to be able to see the name of the series that won the award. Good Lord! And my name of course.
All right, zoom out some more and I'm going to go up here a little bit. His thigh, I think, is actually is as focused as it gets, because it's kind of moving toward us. So it's already beyond the depth of field there. But these wings could be better, so I'm going to paint them in -- be careful to paint only inside of the wings, don't go outside, because you'll paint in the blurry wall like so, and you don't want that. You want the wall to stay in focus. So I'm going to paint just kind of to the edge of the wings here. You could use a softer brush than I'm using, I'm using a pretty hard brush at this point. It's fairly small as well and I'll just go in there and get as much as the wing as I feel like getting and painting inside of his face a little bit, although his face is in pretty good shape and then of course, we would move over to Seven awards2, because our friend Ava or whatever her name is has problems, so let's go ahead and paint in the center here and one of will be able to see Jacob taking the photograph right there. So you can see his knuckles and that's very important to see that photographer in the shiny objects, I always love that.
Go ahead and paint in the reflections better. This sort of thing. So you can get as detailed as you want to get, my friends. This, oh, this will never do, look at that fuzzy typewrite there, I think, let's see is that layer? It probably is they think I think the DV award is captured in Seven awards3 and so let's see if we can paint in the type a little better. So it's in nice sharp focus lynda.com. Oh, my gosh, my dear publisher, they need to have their name in focus as well and I'm noticing a problem with Hermes' legs. Let's go back to Hermes and paint the reflections in properly.
What is going on? Silly, silly Auto Blend. It doesn't get everything 100% right, but it's amazing, amazing, I tell you, how much it does it get right. Look at that scene, everybody in focus, oh my goodness. And of course the next thing I would do is go to the Crop tool. We haven't cropped any of the other images, but you would crop everything you Auto Align or Auto Blend, and you will grab that Crop tool and drag it around the portion of the image that you want to retain and I don't really want to see the fact that the base is hanging off the edge of this table.
We just didn't have a very deep table to work with here and we can crop off some of the palm tree. It's technically not an award after all. I crop inward a little bit there and I have Hide turned on, Shield is turned off just so as you know and then I'm going to press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and I'm going to press the F key a couple of times to fill the screen. Let's go ahead and zoom in, why don't we, so we can see these beautiful awards that are all in impeccably sharp focus thanks to a talented photographer of course, thank you Jacob Cunningham and Photoshop's amazing Auto Align and Auto Blend features working together with just a little bit of manual masking here inside Photoshop CS4.
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